Thousands gather for Women's March at Texas State Capitol
AUSTIN, Texas - Thousands packed onto the lawn of the Texas State Capitol for the Women's March on Saturday.
Signs that read: "Women just want to have FUNdemental rights," and "I just hope to have the same rights as a gun," were held up as those in the crowd fought for what they say are basic human rights.
Much of the conversation leaned heavily on reproductive rights, as Senate Bill 8, also known as the Heartbeat Bill, has sparked debate in Texas. It has become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, limiting a woman to receive an abortion after just six weeks.
"It's really important for us to be here and show up for our rights as women," said Shelbie Sparks, who traveled from California to take part in the rally.
Others agreed that the Bill is too restrictive and government officials should not get to make the decision on what women do with their bodies.
"In a state where we seem to be so proud of people having individual rights and people making individual choices, it's very odd to hear people all of a sudden caring about taking care of my choices and my body," said Kelsie Ake.
Also at the rally, speakers from different groups took the podium to share their personal stories, experiences, and thoughts. One powerful moment came from a 12-year-old who called out Texas Governor Greg Abbott. She called on him that if he was really "pro-life" that he would be against the death penalty.
She added that she doesn't want to grow up in a world where abortion is illegal.
"I want to live in a world where my mom doesn't need to talk to her 12-year-old daughter about leaving Texas to get an abortion if I get pregnant," she said.
Amy Exah has been coming to the marches for years, she said, but she says now it's not just about conversations and rallies, it's about getting out and voting so there can be real change.
"This is just one little piece of it, most importantly we have to vote," she said. "We have to vote for our beliefs, our values and we have to put our money where our mouths are and show up in every way possible."
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